“Any acrobatics? Tell us more about your rope spinning.”
How many of you have gone to an audition and have been asked similar questions by the folks behind the table at your audition? For me, personally, it happens all the time.
When I first moved to New York City in 1995 to pursue a career in Musical Theatre, the buzz word flying around was “Triple Threat.” For those who don’t know what that means, it refers to being a Singer, Dancer and Actor. What more could Producers and Directors want? That was the whole package!
Back then (and still true today) many dancers, were strictly dancers, some could sing, but their forte was dance. They were known as Dancers who
sing. Singers on the other hand, same scenario, were Singers who could dance or Singers Who Move Well. No one really asked you if you could act, they just assumed you could. They would know more if they handed you sides to study.
In todays competitive world of Musical Theatre, Film and Television, its almost demanded that we have a special skill to make us stand out, to land that role. This is true especially in Musical Theatre where shows are much more flashy, technical and exciting! Take the recent revival of Pippin! You get the picture? Our special skills are just as important as our singing/dancing and acting lessons.
Before I found my way into musical theatre, I just happen to have many special skills. I learned because I was interested in them, not because I needed them for my resume. Here’s my list of special skills that I love to rattle off to folks for fun, but they are all true.
I am a Singer/Dancer/Actor/ Acrobat/Puppeteer/Stilt Walker/Unicyclist/
Juggler/Improv Actor/Writer/Costume Designer. In fact at one point, below
my special skills on my resume, I was bold and wrote “Creative Beyond
I learned all these skills bit by bit as time went by. I learned how to ride a unicycle at age 9 because a unicycle club came and performed at my elementary school. As a kid, I was also a springboard diver. I competed in high school and was a scholarship athlete in college. I had always been acrobatic and one day, while hanging around my church gym, I took those diving skills and transferred them into tumbling skills, which lead me to being a Varsity Cheerleader for 3 years. After college, I worked at Walt Disney World where I learned how to be a puppeteer and stilt walker, which were jobs within my job as a character performer and dancer. Eventually that lead me to dance classes and Musical Theatre.
When I moved to NYC and had a real resume, I would be at auditions and the producers would glance down and look at my special skills and almost always ask about my acrobatics. In fact, I got 90% of my jobs because of my special skills.
In 1997, I auditioned for the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I went in and sang and they asked me to return for a call back. Before I walked away, something compelled me to speak up about being an acrobat. It’s important that when you have the opportunity to sell what makes you unique, you do it! The folks behind the table lit up and said when I returned for my callback, I could tumble for them. The next day at the dance call, they asked me to tumble and I did a few tricks for them. I got the job and spent 15 months on the road.
I am now in the Atlanta Gay Mens Chorus and currently working at Stone Mountain Park during their Pumpkin Festival. I was called in to audition at Stone Mountain Park after I was seen at Unifieds. I was asked to prepare a comedic monologue and a song. I did my monologue then sang my song. They (and there were 4 folks behind the table that day) looked down at my special skills and began to ask about each special skill one by one. One director literally said “Stop, I didn’t hear a word after you said Costume Designer.” He was still trying to process that when the others where already asking about my circus skills and my puppeteering. Clearly I got the job. But I actually got 3 separate jobs from that one audition. I was hired as a Puppeteer, an Improv Actor and a Costume Designer. Here’s the kicker, I am also riding my Unicycle in a parade as well as Juggling. 5 skills utilized!
Life is a journey. We learn new things that lead us to other new things. As performers, we have a world of opportunity to learn new special skills.
Atlanta has more and more quality theaters opening all the time, plus more tv shows and movies filming here. I encourage you to seek out a
Puppeteering class, an acrobatics/tumbling class, a circus skills class. Make yourself more marketable. There’s a reason it’s called a Play.
With the continous rise of social media, creatives often wonder why it’s important to still have a website. Instagram allows you to collect your profiles data analytics, connect with your audience , sell ads, and essentially expand your brand. However, there are still many incidents where popular influencers pages have gotten hacked and they’ve had to start all the way over. Your website is YOURS! This is where people are coming to learn about you. The question becomes, why should your audience visit your website? They can visit your Instagram , Facebook, and Snapchat to see what you’ve been up to. Here’s five ways that you can optimize your website and keep your audience coming back for more.
Update your website frequently – Keeping your audience engaged with what your doing is very important. Make sure that whatever new projects you’ve been working on or new achievements you’ve made in your career are featured on your website. Some artists have content that is exclusivley for their website. When you update your website frequently, you’re giving your audience a reason to constantly check your page for new content.
2. Offer discounted prices or promotions for people who join your mailing list through your website –
People LOVE discounts! They’re also intrigued by recieving incentives for actively engaging with your platform. Once you’ve collected contact information from your audience you now have the power to engage with them more frequently. You’re able to see what they like, what they care about, and invite them to your shows/events outside of social media.
3. Use social media to drive traffic to your website –
Whenever you post a new video, put new artwork up for sale, post a blog, or an article that you like, let people know on your social media pages that there’s something new up on your website.. As a performing artist, I will often post a teaser performance video and tell people to view the entire video on my site. Make sure that you’re utilizing your Instagram and Facebook stories along with posting on your page.
4. Use your data analytics from your website to create your own marketing strategy –
Knowing what your audience is interested in and how many times their visiting your site isn’t enough when you don’t know how to use the data to expand your brand. Anaylze your site data and come up with marketing strategies based off of what your audience wants. For example, if my unique visitors
5. Sell ad space/ offer ad space in exchange for sponsorship –
When I started reaching out to potential sponsors for my debut concert, I created a sponsorship package which included ad space as perk for sponsoring the event. This is a way to generate income based off of how many people view your site. It provides an incentive to create new business realtionships.
Whether you’ve had your website for years or just starting out, these are great tips to help you stay up to date in the constantly changing digital world. People are interested in receiving information and content in real time! These tips can help to make your website the go to place for content in your artistic field. If you’re thinking about starting a website or revamping your own, sign up for our Website Bootcamp class happening Tuesdays, Sept 25 – Oct 16, 2018 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
We appreciate the support of “The Pixel Pusher” who sponsored the Atlanta Unifieds Auditons. It’s important to C4 Atlanta that we support Atlanta Businesses who support artists. Learn more about The Pixel Pusher team and their support for the Atlanta Theatre community.
How long have you been in Business?
Why is the Atlanta theatre community important to you?
The local theatre community was incredibly supportive of us when we were first getting started. We received a lot of referrals through local online groups such as ATML (yahoo Atlanta theatre groups) and still get many referrals through local companies and the community in general, which seems to be very supportive and inclusive of all of it’s members and various ancillary supporting industries such as ours.
What do you love about your business?
It’s so great to see an actor land a role they have auditioned for. Whether it’s their first booking ever or if they’ve been auditioning for 20+ years, it is such a big deal to that person. I love that we can be a part of that process – people making their wishes and dreams come true, even if it’s in a small way.
Why did you decide to be an Atlanta Unifieds sponsor?
We have been honored to participate in the Unifieds (both as a general local resource, and subsequently as your preferred Unifieds printer) for many years, and wanted to show our appreciation.
Are there any promotions that you would like to share with us?
We have an ongoing unifieds discount of 10%, which applies towards custom orders and reprints. Just mention either C4 or Unifieds. Discounts don’t apply towards all products, but we are always available to chat by phone or email if anyone has any questions or wants to chat about the best way to proceed with their order.
Film and TV Agent Victoria Temple gives tips for the Modern Day Actor. How has casting changed with the advent of casting through self taping? How should actors present themselves when submitting to auditions and agents? What can help Atlanta actors to be competitive with actors from other markets?
The last Friday of every month, C4 Atlanta features a new episode of our podcast Techsmarts | Art + Technology. Listen, Rate and Subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud.
TechsmARTs Podcast : Episode 2 | Art Making and Virtual Reality, with Dale Adams
Featuring: Dale Adams, visual and sound VR artist
In this episode, C4 Atlanta chats with Dale Adams, Artist and Virtual Reality Specialist, about his work creating sound and visual work in the virtual world. We explore the possibilities for art making with VR technologies, the origins of art making with VR and how a group of artists is collecting Atlanta’s dreams.
On August 5, 2017, C4 Atlanta hosted a TechsmARTs Conversation on Digital Documentation and Storytelling. Our friends at MOCA GA graciously hosted this conversation. Speakers Kimberly Binns and Reis Birdwhistell lead presentations for artists who don’t work in documentation mediums such as film and photography on the basics of documenting work. Both artists document work for other artists in the community, including photographing performance and visual art and documentary filmaking.
Reis talked about the basic needs for photographing work or performance. In particular, he emphasized that in order to get the shot you really want, taking time to experiment with different filters, light placement and effects while shooting can help eliminate time spent editing. Including a grey card or industry standard color card in the periphery of the shot (to be edited out later) can help a printer to find the proper color for accurate reproductions. For performance, preparation is key to getting quality images. Seeing a dress rehearsal beforehand can help with informing camera placement and which scenes have the best lighting for photography. Some scenes can also be staged out for the photographer as tableaus so that you can achieve the proper look and feel in a more controlled environment outside of the performance.
Kimberly’s presentation focused primarily on representing yourself through the story you’d like to tell about your art. As an example, Kimberly showed a clip from her series Maker_ in which she documents the work of Atlanta makers and creatives. Kimberly works with the individual artist to craft the perfect narrative for their artwork and business. Watch Kim’s film of Cord Shoes and Boots artist Sarah Green. Above all, Kimberly stressed beginning with what you have and working up to larger resources as you have access to them. You can begin with your cell phone camera or rent nicer equipment from a film rental company to stay economical. Some editing software is free but is limited in its usage. Some more expensive industry standard products like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro have free trials and online tutorials to help users learn to use software.
You can download a PDF copy of the slide decks presented below:
One last announcement: C4 Atlanta is launching a TechsmARTs podcast! Look for our launch this Summer 2017. Upcoming topics include net neutrality, working in virtual reality, submissions for film and TV and much more. Have a topic you’d like to see us explore in a future TechsmARTs? Submit it here.
C4 Atlanta is proud to announce the twelve artists selected into the Hatch Training Intensive for Spring 2017! These artists will spend the next four months learning skills for creating art projects with community.
The Hatch Training Intensive was established as a training program through C4 Atlanta in October 2015. The course is a result of three years of collaboration, research and curriculum development with both national and local experts in the field of community driven art projects. Now in its third cycle, past participating artists have gone on to work on public art projects across the country and internationally. The program emphasizes skills in cultural organizing, understanding and establishing identity, identifying key community stakeholders, and working with community in ways that are sustainable for both artists and community members. The program also emphasizes important career development skills necessary to do social and civic practice work, including working with city planners, applying for RFPs/RFQs, negotiation and budgeting.
“Hatch is creating a pipeline of artists well trained to work in community development on both civic and artist-led community projects. Protecting both the interests and the integrity of community members is central to this program,” said Executive Director Jessyca Holland. “We also know that the artists involved need skills to protect their business and artistic interests in order to do this work, and that is part of their training, too.”
“We are excited by the diversity of experience and expertise that the Spring 2017 cohort brings,” said Audrey Gámez, Education Manager. “These are dynamic artists who span an array of ages, identities and disciplines. Their work is an expression of love for the communities with which they work.”
Artists selected to the Spring 2017 Hatch Training Intensive include:
Lisa Alembik: A native Atlantan, Lisa Alembik is an artist, educator and curator. Her work focuses on spaces that are charged with histories of love and violence, the effects of loving and loss on the fleshy body, and issues of misogyny and women’s rights. In early 2016, drawings from her series titled “Murder Ballads” were exhibited in “The Green Mantle,” named after a chapter in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, curated by Ann-Marie Manker at Kibbee Gallery, GA. Summer of 2016, a sculptural installation of plaster works, both abject and fetid, were included in critic Jerry Cullum’s curation “Garden of Unearthly Delights.” Among Alembik’s solo exhibitions are “In the Belly of the Whale” at the Arts Exchange, and “Solace” at the Spruill Gallery. Her work was included in exhibitions “Herstory” at the Memphis College of Art gallery, “Sex Drive” at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, “Pap Art,” at Truman State University, MO and San Francisco’s City College Art Gallery, and “The Last Taboo” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. Alembik’s curatorial projects from 2016 were “Lightweight” at the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, GA and “This beautiful tangle” at the Dalton Gallery of Agnes Scott College. She is an associate professor at Georgia State University-Perimeter College in Clarkston, where she teaches the foundations of art, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, drawing and painting.
Rachel Garbus: Rachel Garbus is a theater-maker, writer, improviser and actress. A graduate of Smith College, Rachel is a native New Englander but is proud to call Atlanta home since 2013. She performs around town with Village Theater, Highwire Comedy, and the lit shows Write Club and Bleux Stockings Society. Her devised theater work – creating an original piece with input from all members of the ensemble – has taken her to New York, Haiti, and the east side of Atlanta. She’s never been one to turn down a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie or a singalong. Rachel is thrilled to join the 2017 Hatch intensive!
Anthony Gary: Anthony Gary is a self-taught freelance photographer. Mr. Gary is an Atlanta native whose love for photojournalism has lead him his most recent project producing a book called I am Human covering the impoverished population of Atlanta. Anthony also works in the local film industry as an IATSE Local 479 member as a motion picture grip. An active member of the local arts community, Anthony enjoys freestyle rapping as a member of Soul Food Cypher, writing stand-up comedy, and screenwriting. He is also a dedicated volunteer with non-profit organizations such Mission Dawgs, MUST, and WonderRoot.
Julia Hill: Julia Hill is an artist living in Atlanta, GA. She is owner and director of The Workshop, a mixed-use artist studio and makerspace. She enjoys facilitating creative visions, being outside, and playing with dogs. Julia’s studio pursuits include large puppetry, installation, metal fabrication, ceramics, and much more.
Brice Kennedy: Brice Kennedy is a visual artist and graphic designer. A conceptual designer, his inspiration for innovation is a quote by another artist: “Anything can work!”. His work is influenced by relationships and personalities of those he has met through his travels. A native Atlantan, he spent most of his childhood playing in local creeks.
Meredith Kooi: Meredith Kooi is a visual and performance artist, critic, curator, and educator based in ATL. Using research-based and process-based practices, Kooi engages radio broadcast, performance, drawing, mapping, writing, book-making and zines, video, photography, and installation to illuminate the embodied nature of the electromagnetic spectrum. In recent years, Meredith has been working collaboratively, connecting with others in conversations, oftentimes broadcasting those dialogues on air. She is an artist-in-residence with The Creatives Project (2015-17), a Wave Farm Transmission Artist, Hambidge Fellow, and recipient of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs Emerging Artist Award (2014-15). Meredith is currently working on her PhD at Emory University in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, received her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011), and earned her BA in Environmental Studies from Denison University (2007).
Lydia See: Lydia See is a multidisciplinary practitioner, educator, curator of art + archives, currently in residence as the first Artist in the Community Resident in partnership with HUB-BUB and the Spartanburg County Public Libraries. Working primarily with photography and fiber at the intersection of site-specificity and duration, her practice involves material and conceptual investigation through research and collection, and is rooted in history: literal and conceptual, local and global, intimate and environmental, personal and anonymous.
Muhammad Suber: Born in Yonkers, New York, Artist InUs (Muhammad Suber) began sketching at 5 years old and is predominantly self-taught. He uses color pencils, pens and markers to inject real-life figures into fantasy settings -creating superheroes out of everyday people in his work. His goal is to break into the video game industry as a 2-D artist and to create a nonprofit that trains low-income youth in artistic techniques and current 2-D and 3-D animation to increase the diversity of representation in emerging art-technology industries.
Giovanna Veltre: Giovanna Veltre is an Atlanta artist currently working towards her BFA at Georgia State University. She is a feminist fiber artist using knit, crochet, and dye techniques in reference to the body. Using unlikely materials like tampons, she celebrates both menstruation and birth in relation to female power. She plans to continue her practice in Atlanta and hopes to one day open her very own an arts center.
Jacquay Waller: Jacquay Waller, a native of Memphis, Tennessee received his BS in Computer Science from Tennessee State University. Additionally, he holds a Master of Divinity from Emory University, MBA from Troy University and multiple professional certifications. He is a classically trained bass-baritone vocalist and has been an accomplished member of AmeriColor Opera Alliance. He is a proud recipient of the James A. Hyter Award and the African American Playwright Exchange (AAPEX) Artist of the Year Award. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Incorporated. In his last year of seminary at Emory University, Jacquay produced and directed the show Coming from where I’m from. From here, his entertainment company DreamCatcher ENT was birthed. DreamCatcher produces theatrical experiences as a means for igniting community engagement with social issues.
Andrea Waterstone: Andrea Waterstone is a community-based public artist and the Director of Curation and Programming at Square Mile Gallery in Clarkston, Ga. She has served as the Arts Program Director at the Clarkston Community Center where she ran STE(A)M afterschool and summer programming. Andrea is a visual art teacher and multi-media artist who collaborates with teaching artists on fabricating large wooden sculptures, murals, recycled environmental art and mixed-medium Public Art. Andrea has designed and implemented arts based programming at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, The International Community School, Jewish Kids Groups and served as a writer for the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) for K-12th grade Art. Andrea received her BA from the University of Georgia in Studio Art and holds a Masters in Special Education/ Deaf Education from Valdosta State University.
Kacie Willis: Kacie is a Detroit-native who has been residing in Atlanta for the past 3 years. She holds her BS in Music Recording Technology from Hampton University and her MFA in Sound Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition to freelancing, Kacie has worked at The Center for Puppetry Arts and Horizon Theatre and interned at Synchronicity Theatre and Theatrical Outfit. She currently serves as the Patron Services Manager at 7 Stages and enjoys finding ways to contribute to the community through creative collaboration.
Past Hatch participants have been busy putting their skills to use both in Atlanta and elsewhere. Lauren Pallotta Stumberg is the curator and organizer of the Moreland Mural Project, a public art project to be located at the corner of Dekalb Ave and Moreland Ave in Atlanta, which, when completed, will include murals by 22 female artists. Charmaine Minniefield recently wrapped her time as curator of the Foxfire 50th Anniversary Festival in the North Georgia Mountains. William Massey’s ColorATL project is working to provide coloring books for 1,500-2,000 Atlantans in transitional or medically urgent situations featuring the work of over 40 Atlanta based artists. Currently, you can find Michael Jones finishing his 100-ft long mural project near the Chamblee MARTA. And Beth West conducts a regular series of Social Justice Improv workshops around the Atlanta Metro Area.
C4 is excited to welcome our newest cohort and looks forward to the creative work they will bring forth to communities in our city and beyond!
C4 Atlanta is proud to announce the return of our Leading Ladies blog series in support of National Women’s History Month. National Women’s History Month is a project of the National Women’s History Project. This blog series celebrates female-identifying individuals in our community who are super stars and worthy of distinction for their work in the arts.
Nominations for this series are now open and ongoing until February 28th. Anyone can nominate a Leading Lady! We want to know: “Who are the women that inspire you?” Arts workers in all disciplines can be nominated, including arts administrators. To nominate, please fill out the nomination form:
Nominees will be featured here on our blog throughout the month of March, starting March 1. Check back to see all of the amazing folks who break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.
The deadline for the Fall 2016 Hatch Training Intensive is closing in! We are so excited to meet our next cohort. In anticipation of the next training session, we thought you might like to meet some of the wonderful folks that have helped us to develop this program along the way:
CenterForward, lead by Heather Alhadeff, President: Places that people cherish and thrive in are ultimately achieved via rigorous and thoughtful dialogue across disciplines. Transportation Planning and Engineering combined with sincere and effective community involvement represent a collaborative and ultimately implementable decision making process – a core principle of Center Forward. With that philosophy in mind, Center Forward Inc was established in December 2012 as a transportation and land use planning firm.
Heather has over 19 years of Atlanta-specific Planning experience. Center Forward is a big proponent in helping the city integrate artistic principles into all stages of planning. Center Forward helped C4 Atlanta develop content that introduces artists to planning, trends in planning, and how the artist may fit into planning projects that engage community members and community stakeholders.
Ebony Noelle Golden: Ebony Noelle Golden is the CEO and principal engagement strategist at Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC. BDAC is a NYC-based cultural arts direct action group that works to inspire, instigate, and incite transformation, radical expressiveness, and progressive social change through community designed, culturally relevant, creative projects. The Houston, TX native is also an accomplished performance artist, poet, director, and choreographer who stages site-specific rituals and live art performances that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now. Ebony holds a Master of Arts degree in Performance Studies from New York University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Texas A&M University.
Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston, lead by Jim Grace, Executive Director: The mission of the A&BC is to strengthen a vibrant arts community by providing quality direct legal and business services and ongoing educational programs to the creative community. Programs include business training for artists and creative entrepreneurs, pro bono legal services, nonprofit board service training and placement, microlending, fiscal agency, estate and legacy planning, human resources support, insurance programs, and corporate art lending partnerships.
Emily Hopkins: Emily Hopkins is an artist and the executive director of Side Street Projects. Emily works to develop sustainable, community-based systems that connect working artists directly to communities.
She is committed to hands-on, standards-based art programs for K-12 that appeal to multiple intelligences and incorporate into core curriculum. Emily serves on the art curriculum advisory committee for the Pasadena Unified School District (DAT CAT), and the advisory board for John Muir High School’s Arts Entertainment & Media Academy. Emily has a BFA & MA from CalArts and lives and works in Pasadena.
Katina Parker: Katina Parker is a Durham-based filmmaker, photographer, writer, graphic designer, cultural curator, social media expert, and communications consultant who has advised both the Ford Foundation’s Just Films and the Association of Independents in Radio’s Makers Quest 2.0 initiatives. Parker teaches social media and film through the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University and serves as an Instructor for North Carolina’s Community Folklife Documentation Institute.
She is the Co-Chair of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Task Force and the Vice President of the Association of Wake Forest University’s Black Alumni (AWFUBA) group. Prior to this Parker worked as a creative director in Los Angeles. She spent several years working as a Media Strategist for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), where she fine-tuned her public relations and communications savvy.
McKenzie Wren: Mckenzie has a background in public health, alternative medicine and variety entertainment. Since 2007, she has worked within the refugee community of Clarkston, GA – a community called “the most diverse square mile in the nation” by a NY Times article. She was previously the Executive Director of the Clarkston Community Center for six years. McKenzie uses arts-based and place-based strategies to bring about change. Her particular areas of focus are helping businesses and nonprofits strengthen culture through participatory processes and identify new processes for information and resource flow. She is a skilled facilitator who believes in the power of community to identify and solve its own problems.
The Hatch Training Intensive is specifically targeted towards readying artists to work in community-centric art projects in ways that are both sustainable and meaningful to all involved stakeholders. Deadline for application to the 2016 Fall Hatch Training Intensive is August 15th at 11:59pm. To learn more or to apply, see our Hatch Training Page.